Colchester has the last and most important component to move forward with a large-scale sewer project-money.The USDA's Rural Development program will give the city a grant of a $1.56 million and a loan of $2.35 million. The interest rate on the loan is 2.125%.Mayor Danny Bice is glad for the money but he still thinks it will put stress on the city's finances.He says, “We were actually hoping to get a little bit more (in the grant). We're going to have to run the numbers and make sure it's still feasible for the customers in town.”
Colchester is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for up to eight years to complete a large-scale sewer project.
The city has two options to pay for the $4.2 million project.
If the city qualifies for loans and grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program, the project might be completed in four years.
If the project qualifies for grants through the EPA the project might take eight years. That's because the city could only apply every other year.
Colchester planned to take nearly a decade to complete a large-scale sewer replacement project with an estimated price tag of $4.2 million.
The city will now seek to complete the project in the next four years. The change is driven by the prospects for grant funding.
Mayor Danny Bice says the city counted on a combination of state and federal grants to help pay for the project. It's necessary to meet federal EPA requirements.
The city has found the funding forecast a dismal one.